University of Southern California

Shanan Sabin
Gaining Business Acumen and the Trojan Network
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Graduating Year
Lomita, CA

After earning his undergraduate degree in economics, Shanan Sabin entered the U.S. Army, where he quickly earned multiple promotions. By age 23, he was "mayor" of a 7,000-person camp in Kuwait at the beginning of the Iraq war, overseeing the seaport where the equipment was being deployed.

When it came time to leave the Army, he had many opportunities to extend his military career in a civilian role, but none provided him with the challenges he was seeking. "I thought, if you take my leadership experience with everything an MBA would give me, all the business acumen and the marketing knowledge, it could really propel me forward a lot faster into the business world," he says. He chose Marshall for his MBA because of the strong Trojan network and the camaraderie he saw among the students.

His experience in Marshall's Pacific Rim Education Program (PRIME) tied back to his tenure as a transportation officer in the Army. His group traveled to Chile and Brazil, where their project involved analyzing aircraft subsidy programs from nations around the world.

As for the Marshall curriculum, his favorite course was Applied Modern Statistical Learning Methods with Professor Gareth Jones. "I'm kind of a stats geek and a math nerd," says Mr. Sabin. "Everybody in business school learns basic statistics. This took it to a much higher level. When I'm sitting in my marketing job and I have to find what the best promotional tools are, I can draw a lot more information from the data."

He'll be using those skills, and the rest of his Marshall education, at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati as an assistant brand manager on the Gain laundry-detergent brand. However, he says the most valuable thing he learned at Marshall was how to network. "In the Army, it's very easy. You can look up a specific position and it doesn't matter who is in the position, you just need that position to get something done for you. Everything at Marshall has prepared me for the business world: how to meet people, stay in contact with people and keep your network alive."